For Friday 11/13
Watch Zoom 11 if you missed it. It may help you with the below:
Connecting Details (from Song to Research to Song)
Points from Zoom lecture on Sanneh’s text about Jay-Z, pp. 9-11
- Connecting Jay-Z’s biographical details (research) to his lyrics: the Glock
- From content to style (connecting Hip Hop website research to the style of Jay-Z’s words. Comparing his style of “everyday speech” to historical lyrical styles in rap.
- Close reading and walking us through Jay-Z’ “D’evils”
Reading & Writing Assignments:
1. Read one of the articles you found in your research for last Friday’s assignment using one of our Research Resources. Following Sanneh’s example (above, explained in Zoom), write 1-2 paragraphs where you connect a single detail from your Essay 2 song to a single detail in your research source.
2. Beyonce and the Politics of Listening and Interpretation
When we listen to a song, we are already interpreting it. Even if we listen to a track and say “this is totally meaningless”, this is an interpretation. One of the historical problems in the interpretation of popular musics (from rock and roll to rap to hip hop) has been the tendency to interpret such music in a moralizing way (“are the values espoused in this work good or bad?” “will the children listening to this music be negatively affected?”). In my view, this problem continues to get in the way of listeners’ ability to appreciate the full breadth of meanings available in popular musics. The series of texts on Beyonce we’ve read for this week (by Bell Hooks, Bill O’Reilly, and Noah Berlatsky) highlight this problem:
Below I’ve summarized the background of the three Beyonce commentators and the what they’ve claimed about her work. Then, I’ve posed a question asking you to provide more detail. For Part 2 of your response, I want you to choose A, B, or C and respond to the question I’ve provided and use a quotation from the text to support your response (so, for instance, if you choose “A”, you’ll explain WHY Bell Hooks thinks Beyonce is harmful to young girls and find a quote from her text/interview where she talks about this).
A. Bell Hooks is a self-proclaimed radical intersectional feminist (meaning her politics are very far to the left); she finds Beyonce’s work to be harmful to young girls: why?
B. On the other end of the political spectrum is Bill O’Reilly, a far-right former TV show host for Fox news; he too finds Beyonce’s work to be harmful to young girls: why?
C. Noah Berlatsky is a journalist who cares about Beyonce’s work as a form of art; he notices that although Hooks and O’Reilly are on opposing sides of politics that there are similarities in how they interpret Beyonce’s work: what similarities between them does he notice? What alternative, non-moralizing way of interpreting Beyonce does Berlatsky offer us?